Bears Close to Deal Making NFC Rival Coach Team’s New OC: Report

Shane Waldron, Geno Smith

Getty Offensive coordinator Shane Waldron of the Seattle Seahawks.

The Chicago Bears have appear to have found the next leader of their offense.

Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reported early Monday morning, January 22, that the team is nearing a deal with Seattle Seahawks offensive coordinator Shane Waldron to work in the same position for Chicago.

“The #Bears are working towards a deal to hire Shane Waldron as their new offensive coordinator, per sources,” Pelissero posted to X. “Waldron, 44, spent the past three seasons as Seattle’s OC. Now he’s expected to land in Chicago, which owns the No. 1 pick with a big question looming at QB.”

Shane Waldron Had Successful Stint with Seahawks, Helped Revive QB Geno Smith’s Career

Pete Carroll

GettyFormer Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll.

Waldron had stints in college with Notre Dame and Massachusetts, as well as NFL tenures with the New England Patriots, Washington Commanders and Los Angeles Rams before landing in Seattle. He held jobs ranging from quality control to tight ends and wide receivers coach to passing game coordinator/quarterbacks coach across those stops.

Waldron may now be looking for a new job because the Seahawks chose to fire head coach Pete Carroll on January 10 and are currently looking for a new leader of their staff. He had considerable success over his three years in Seattle, where he most notably helped revive the career of QB Geno Smith.

Smith earned Pro Bowl honors in 2022, leading the NFL in completion percentage (69.8%) and throwing for 4,282 yards, 30 TDs and 11 INTs, per Pro Football Reference. His success helped the Seahawks earn a 9-8 record and a playoff berth that season.

All told, Seattle produced a record of 25-26 under the pairing of Carroll and Waldron, navigating the final year of Russell Wilson’s career with the franchise and then a transition to a new direction under center.

Shane Waldron Equipped to Develop Justin Fields, Start Fresh with New QB

Justin Fields Trade Raiders NFL Rumors

GettyChicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields.

Waldron’s ability to help Smith to the NFL’s 2022 Comeback Player of the Year Award speaks to what he might be able to accomplish in regards to developing Bears starting QB Justin Fields into the kind of passer the team hoped he would become in 2023.

Fields improved his completion percentage incrementally year over year, jumping 1 percentage point to 61.4%. He also produced a career high in passing yards with 2,562 and threw for 16 TDs against a career low 9 INTs across 13 games played, per Pro Football Reference.

The quarterback was again one of the NFL’s most proficient rushers of the football from the position, producing 657 rushing yards and 4 TDs after leading the league in quarterback rushing yards with 1,143 in 2022.

All that said, the Bears are in a unique position to select their QB of the future in a draft loaded with elite prospects like Caleb Williams of USC, Drake Maye of North Carolina and Jayden Daniels of LSU. General manager Ryan Poles and head coach Matt Eberflus arrived in Chicago one year after the previous regime drafted Fields with the No. 11 pick in the first round.

With Waldron on the way in, the trio can hash out the best option for the team moving forward, as their fates with the Bears organization — and potentially the entirety of their NFL futures — will be linked to who that player becomes after entering the NFL.

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